Monday, June 24, 2013

In loving memory of my dad, Elmer L. Johnson


Elmer L. Johnson
Elmer L. Johnson
January 7, 1931 - June 17, 2013

Besides Jesus Christ, my dad made more of an impact on my life than any other man I have ever known. I could never list all the ways that dad influenced my life, but please allow me to share some with you here.

Dad influenced me to:
  • love the Lord and faithfully serve him with my time, talent, and finances.
  • make the Bible the authoritative guide for all of my beliefs and actions.
  • love my wife as Christ loves the church.
  • always be available for my children, caring for and loving them.
  • point people to Jesus on this journey from earth to glory.
  • love God’s creation.
I owe a lot to my dad’s influence, and I thank God for giving me the honor to be his son.

gaj

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Desolate Places: Where Our Strength is Renewed

Snug Falls, Snug, Tasmania, Australia. By JJ Harrison (jjharrison89@facebook.com) (Own work) [GFDL 1.2 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
by Gregory A. Johnson

In the wilderness, we experience spiritual growth as God prepares us (The Wilderness: A Time of Spiritual Growth). Desolate places are where our strength is renewed so that we can continue the journey and complete our mission.

The crowds pressed in all around him to hear his anointed and life-giving words. He revealed the kingdom through both his words and actions, healing the sick, feeding the hungry, breaking through manmade religious, gender, economic, and racial barriers with peaceful love and grace (The Kingdom According to Jesus). He was driven by the Holy Spirit and on a mission from his father. The pressures of ministry and time constraints were great, but yet as Jesus walked this earth as our example, he withdrew to desolate places.
“But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray” (Luke 5:15-16 ESV).
Notice a couple of points:
  • Jesus did not allow the demands of people to take away from his prayer time.
  • Jesus withdrew himself from ministry and people for seasons of prayer.